Africa & World

Donald Trump acquitted of Capitol Hill violence, hints at 2024 comeback

FORMER U.S. President Donald Trump has hinted that he will try and ‘Make America Great Again’ by contesting in the 2024 elections, hours after he was acquitted on charges of inciting the deadly attacks on the Capitol Hill.

On Jan. 14, Trump was impeached for the second time, the only U.S. president in history to be impeached twice.

This came after a majority of the U.S. House of Representatives — including all Democratic representatives and 10 Republican representatives — voted to impeach him on one charge of inciting an insurrection, involving the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by a group of his supporters.

On Saturday, Feb. 13, the U.S. Senate acquitted Trump in his second impeachment trial.

Senate needed two-thirds majority

In order for the conviction to go through, a two-thirds majority, or 67 votes, was needed following the five-day impeachment trial.

However, National Public Radio (NPR) reported that only 57 senators — including seven Republican senators — voted in favour of convicting Trump.

According to Bloomberg, it was the most support in Senate to convict a president since the impeachment trial of Andrew Johnson in 1868.

The other 43 Republican senators all voted to acquit him.

However, some senators who voted in favour of acquitting Trump denounced him.

Politico reported that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who voted to acquit Trump because of concerns about the constitutionality of impeaching a former president, said after the vote:

“Trump is still liable for everything he did while he was in office. He didn’t get away with anything yet.

We have a criminal justice system in this country. We have civil litigation. And former presidents are not immune from being accountable by either one.”

McConnell added that Trump was “practically and morally responsible” for inciting the Capitol riot, and that Trump “seemed determined to either overturn voters decision or torch our institutions on the way out”, according to Bloomberg.

Trump’s response

In an written email statement after his acquittal, Trump thanked his team, as well as the senators and representatives that, he said, “stood proudly for the Constitution we all revere and for the sacred legal principles at the heart of our country”.

He hinted at what is to come, writing that “[o]ur historic, patriotic and beautiful movement to Make America Great Again has only just begun”:

“In the months ahead I have much to share with you, and I look forward to continuing our incredible journey together to achieve American greatness for all of our people. There has never been anything like it!”

Trump acquittal means that the possibility of him running again in 2024, or even future elections, remains on the table. – Agencies

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